Battle site of Alford *

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In this battle James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, for the 5th time defeated the Covenanters.

The marquis had already secured a munber of victories over Covenanter forces and fearing an attack on Aberdeen, the Covenanters led by the experienced commander Major-General William Baillie marched to cut him off.

In July 1645 Montrose took up his position, on Gallows Hill overlooking a ford across the River Don near the village of Alford. Baillie quickly recognised that his troops would be vulnerable to attack if they attempted to cross the ford and so hesitated in doing so. The ruling Covenanter Committee however overruled his decision and ordered him on to battle.

Montrose waited until the Covenanter cavalry had crossed the river, and the infantry were in the process of doing so, before he attacked.

It was a  fierce fight and when Montrose released his infantry the Covenanter infantry broke.

The resulting Covenanter infantry losses were heavy as the troops’ only escape route was back across the ford. Cavalry losses were much lighter, with Baillie and the Covenanter Committee all evading capture.

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